Genomics-enhanced biovigilance to improve crop disease management

Principal Investigator: Kamal Bouarab
Theme : Agriculture and Bioproducts
Competition : 2019 Competition: Partnership – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
Status : In progress
Start : Jan. 1, 2020
End: Dec. 31, 2023
Budget : $1,472,956.00

Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic fungus capable of causing grey mould in hundreds of plant species, many of which are economically important, such as tomatoes, grapevines, potatoes, beans and peas. The disease wreaks economic havoc in fields around the world.


At the moment, fungicides are the main weapon available against grey mould caused by B. cinerea. The use of fungicides, however, has resulted in the development of strains of B. cinerea that are resistant to these molecules. In response, farmers need to use greater quantities of fungicides and apply them more frequently in order to save their crops. Unfortunately, this increased fungicide use compromises the quality of fruit and vegetables and harms the environment. Due to the loss of fungicide efficacy, fighting resistant pathogens has become a major challenge for future agricultural production here in Canada and around the world.


The aim of this research project is to collect a large assortment of isolated B. cinerea strains from all regions of Québec. This collection will make it possible to analyze the impact of fungicides on the level of resistance and aggressiveness of these strains. Another goal is to use small non-coding RNA as biopesticides and viruses to make resistant B. cinerea strains less aggressive and more sensitive to low doses of fungicides. Farmers would then be able to reduce the massive and frequent use of fungicides. This project is the result of a partnership among Génome Québec, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Phytodata and Université de Sherbrooke.


Lead Genome Centre: Génome Québec


Partners: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAC), Phytodata, Université de Sherbrooke



Odile Carisse Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAC)
Syama Chatterton Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAC)
Carole Beaulieu Université de Sherbrooke
Peter Moffett Université de Sherbrooke